Devotion, a Via Christa Degree

Early in the 19th Century, Noah Webster defined devotion as "the state of being dedicated, consecrated, or solemnly set apart for a particular purpose; a solemn attention to the Supreme Being in worship; a yielding of the heart and affections to God, with reverence, faith and piety, in religious duties, particularly in prayer and meditation; devoutness; external worship; acts of religion; performance of religious duties; prayer to the Supreme Being."

The 21st Century definition of devotion is meager: "ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person; religious ardor or zeal; piety; a feeling of strong love or loyalty; the quality of being devoted."

Your devotion is written in the profile of vows you have made and paid. Devotion, with Fidelity and Obedience, form the fourth lesser trinity of Via Christa Degrees, whose keynote is Gratitude.

Edna Lister on Devotion

The process of sublimation is devotional surrender, a process of making the self perfect. – Edna Lister, The Lord's Prayer, September 26, 1934.

Promotion comes through steadfast devotion to Light. – Edna Lister, The Third Degree, March 30, 1935.

Devotion is the act of devoting yourself to divinity in loyalty and prayer. Devotion is an act of worship, your surrender of self to Light, to Life, and to Power. – Edna Lister, Devotion, What Is It? May 24, 1935.

Full devotion to God and His agents under the Master shall increase your strength. – Edna Lister, September 6, 1938.

Be prepared in your mind and heart to meet all tests with deep devotion and consecration unto the Father and the Master. Do this in remembrance of our Lord. – Edna Lister, September 8, 1938.

A Master devotes his or her life to God's service, and sacrificial surrender of self. – Edna Lister, September 29, 1938.

The Master will gather into his Chosen and Elect ones all who are found worthy after due weighing in the balance scales of God. No one of true desire will be left out, but only the Light of God may determine whether worthy or unworthy. No one shall be gathered in except under high loyalty, sincerity, devotion and perfect desire to be high in selflessness and sacrifice. This is a law and it may not be set aside. Endure therefore in love and sacrifice self always. Stand ready to come higher. Allow no personal idea of what God desires to enter. Keep your mind clear and heart clean of all self and personal opinions of right and wrong. – Edna Lister, October 12, 1938.

Light lifts you into high places. Joy makes you love life and living. Surrender bridges all dark abysses. Devotion makes the path plain before you. Love heals all mortal ills. Wisdom leads you upward into the green pastures. Faithfulness makes everything possible. – Edna Lister, October 28, 1938.

Great is the reward for full faithfulness in all devotion, and in that devotion no critical thought or action of speech. – Edna Lister, November 6, 1938.

Devotion holds you facing the Light. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Be open in love and devotion expressed through praise. – Edna Lister, December 28, 1938.

Your vibration of devotion sets the pace for your lifting. – Edna Lister, January 1, 1939.

Your soul's devotion must grow and keep pace with the perfection of your desire to conquer and climb the sunlit way back into the Father's heart of flame and fire. – Edna Lister, January 1, 1939.

A great reward is due for service of devotion and faithfulness on earth. You shall receive it with compounded interest for further obedience to all laws. – Edna Lister, January 2, 1939.

Surrender the "little self" to be lifted into soul in devotion, which is sweet incense unto God. – Edna Lister, October 12, 1939.

Love's keynote is a deep, abiding devotion to the one who is loved. – Edna Lister, Unquenchable Love, Christmas 1939.

When you are faithful and loyal in our devotion to God, only good can come of your efforts. – Edna Lister, February 10, 1942.

Devotion stands under the Light always. – Edna Lister, The Key to Understanding, April 12, 1942.

Have faith in reaching your goal and enough devotion to win it. – Edna Lister, May 14, 1942.

To hold wisdom fast and to receive more, you must be constant in devotion, praise and in the joy of prayer. – Edna Lister, July 29, 1942.

Lukewarmness does not do the "greater works," but devotion, unmarred by anything of self. Seek, therefore, to sacrifice all self. – Edna Lister, November 5, 1942.

Seek greater devotion to love, honor, faith and compassion. – Edna Lister, March 13, 1944.

Devotion is constant, mindful service. – Edna Lister, May 13, 1946.

You can restrain evil's agents through prayer, devotion, love and release of Light to earth. All it takes is effort and looking up in consciousness. – Edna Lister, May 4, 1947.

Devotion to details opens the all-seeing eye of the soul. – Edna Lister, July 2, 1947.

The primary principles underlying ascension are desire for the Father of Wisdom, devotion to the Mother of Love and faith in the Son of all Energy. Then you live in the upper grades, according to Light, color, tone, number and form, the spoken Word. – Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

Give God your love and your heart's devotion. Give to God first. – Edna Lister, July 2, 1949.

Anything that detracts from devotion to Christ or denudes him of the mysteries is the work of subtle intellectual evil. – Edna Lister, December 5, 1949.

The need for quality of devotion and for effort in prayer, praise and joy waxes greater day by day. Be in love with love. Be in joy with love of God. Be faithful and pray without ceasing and in no way grow lax and lukewarm. Do not let another’s laxness offend you or cause you to let go of your high place. – Edna Lister, February 16, 1950.

Your devotion must be great in both quality and quantity. You apply devotion as praise before the thrones above, and as love for your fellow man below, which draws the blessing of joy to you. – Edna Lister, Pentecost, the Way of Ascension, May 7, 1950.

The intellectual and devotional approaches to God are equally important. – Edna Lister, September 28, 1950.

Complete devotion creates the second marriage of the Lamb: All rewards are added as Oversoul descends to become part of you; this is the only way you can become Christed. – Edna Lister, September 28, 1950.

Devotion is the swiftest way to repay God for all He gives you. – Edna Lister, October 3, 1950.

Your unconquerable faith tells those who doubt that they can partake of your faith because it is real. This is the unquestioning devotional approach. – Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, October 28, 1951.

Blind faith is out, but you must have blind devotion to God. – Edna Lister, November 19, 1951.

Truth teachers work to form a balance between the intellectual approach, namely Wisdom, which builds the form under divine principle, and the devotional approach of Love, which nourishes and sustains that which Wisdom puts into form. The intellectual approach worships God as principle, Wisdom and Love. The devotional approach worships God as personality, Father and Mother. – Edna Lister, March 31, 1952.

When priests of a temple use the devotional substance of their people to gain more power, the pillars of the temple will fall, because they pull them down. – Edna Lister, September 14, 1952.

A balanced faith in and love of God bestows the gift of balanced love on earth and in heaven. You create an imbalance, the danger of a too earthy love life when you do not give your devotion and faith to God first; the little self dictates with smothering, selfish love. – Edna Lister, The Mantle of Messiahship, October 12, 1952.

As long as one person kneels in devotion, God uses his devotion to clean up darkness. – Edna Lister, October 30, 1952.

Successful prayer is, first, a devotional attitude toward principle and Power greater than self. – Edna Lister, May 29, 1953.

Joyous devotion to God is the motive power of all fulfillment. You can have no Christ consciousness without the devotional joy vibration. – Edna Lister, June 1, 1953.

When you lift your fear of assuming too much responsibility or that you will fail God, your devotion will be an act, not a process. – Edna Lister, May 24, 1954.

Most congregations are not taught to approach worship with devotion. This drains the Power from the message, and everyone loses. – Edna Lister, July 11, 1954.

Prayer is the flame of devotion in your heart. – Edna Lister, Jesus, the Lawyer, November 28, 1954.

The height of your devotion and vows of consecration are the only limit to the Power released for your illumination. – Edna Lister, May 15, 1955.

Teach law with great consecration and devotion and love, so that you may never mislead another. – Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

You cannot be complete unless you devote yourself to something greater than self. – Edna Lister, Religious Slavery or Freedom? November 27, 1955.

Devotional love's first thought is always of God. – Edna Lister, Nourishing Love, May 13, 1956.

Honor and loyalty are the first requisites in devotion to God. – Edna Lister, Your Devotion to God, December 16, 1956.

Continuous fervent devotion sends your thoughts and prayers upward to the throne. – Edna Lister, Conquering Space, October 15, 1957.

A mediator lives by devotion and consecration to God, learns to look inward, and so finally sees and hears spiritually. – Edna Lister, April 20, 1958.

You cannot be a Mystic without devotion to God. – Edna Lister, May 8, 1958.

When your devotion reaches its highest point of expression, you truly hunger and thirst for God. – Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

The six laws of absolute necessity for comprehension deal with devotion to God as personality: 1) "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." – Matthew 6:33. 2) "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." – Matthew 5:25. 3) "Abstain from all appearance of evil" – 1 Thessalonians 5:22. 4) "What is that to thee? Follow thou me." – John 21:22. 5) "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." – John 12:32. 6) Declare everything good and invoke Light: "This is Good! Let there be Light!" – Genesis 1). – Edna Lister, November 14, 1958.

A state of grace is a state of complete surrender and devotion to the God Supreme. – Edna Lister, May 2, 1959.

Spiritual vision and hearing depend upon the height, breadth and depth of devotion. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

Acceptance of law, surrender to law, then complete devotion to both – this is worship of the One God. – Edna Lister, May 15, 1959.

Devotion rides higher in those who love God. The depth and height of the love of God that you express depends on the fullness of your faith and devotion. – Edna Lister, October 25, 1959.

Devotion is appreciation of the Infinite, greatness and goodness, and absolute reliance upon principle always. – Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 27, 1959.

True devotion is a primary interest in God. – Edna Lister, Behold, I Am With You Always, November 1, 1959.

Faith is your only approach to God, the Source. You may make this approach two ways, intellectual or devotional. The intellectual approach views God as pure principle. The devotional approach worships God as personality. Both methods are necessary. – Edna Lister, Follow Me, November 29, 1959.

A prayer of devotion is the essence of two things, surrender and forgiveness. – Edna Lister, What Is a Miracle? May 24, 1960.

Under the law of oneness and devotion, you come to earth to give, not to get. – Edna Lister, December 11, 1960.

You may not hold out bits of your self, for you must not be divided in your devotion to God. – Edna Lister, October 5, 1961.

Your devotion must express your appreciation and love of God in praise and song. Devotion is a worshipful attitude of love that must give something to the loved one. Faith builds the stairway to God, but steadfastness and devotion are the right and left underpinnings, the risers. – Edna Lister, This One Thing I Do, November 26, 1961.

You ascend just as far as your surrender, obedience and devotion take you. All your earthly actions must be as high as your acts of devotion. God uses the substance of your devotion and surrender. – Edna Lister, February 27, 1963.

When you reach selfless devotion to God, you become that point of love and devotion of God as you, the place of miracles. – Edna Lister, April 4, 1963.

It isn't enough just to live by principle and do good, but takes burning desire, and devotion to God. Without devotion you have no glory in your soul. Obedience to principle makes you feel good, holy, noble, but devotion to the Father adds love and compassion. – Edna Lister, July 7, 1963.

The depth of your devotion and surrender determines the grade of wisdom given to you. – Edna Lister, December 12, 1963.

You must be steadfast in your devotion. – Edna Lister, July 19, 1963.

You must work on a high keynote of devotion, so that the little self is serving the Oversoul selflessly always. Only by devotion can we wash the little self clean, so that every moment of its life it is bowing its knees to God and not to itself because of blame for another, or anything that hinders, limits or enslaves the Oversoul. – Edna Lister, February 9, 1964.

When you forget the law of complete surrendered devotion to be the servant of the Power, you do not accept instantly — and the proof is when it sends you farther into self. – Edna Lister, September 20, 1964.

Wait upon the Lord in the high place, making yourself a chalice of perfection. The Power is perfect and requires a perfect devotion to make it reveal the secrets of the Almighty in all their beauty and glory. – Edna Lister, October 15, 1964.

Your physical is the externalization of you as the fourfold man — your thoughts, your prayers, your devotions and what you do with your emotional life. You are the sum total of your fourfold life. – Edna Lister, November 27, 1964.

You express your loyalty to the Master and to our Father in your devotion. – Edna Lister, December 17, 1964.

You must have devotion to a Supreme Being of Light to whom you may go in confidence. You remain insecure if you do not acknowledge the Source Overall. – Edna Lister, What Is Nonresistance? May 23, 1965.

You cannot release Power while your consciousness is centered on earth, but only under prayers of devotion. – Edna Lister, April 25, 1966.

Your love and devotion for God, and desire to become as He is, without wavering, exalts your soul. So many cut their own vibration and must reestablish it, consuming time and the Power that should bring their desires to pass. – Edna Lister, January 22, 1967.

Hold your self in devotion, in consecration and above all, be ready to speak the Word to release Light for the next step in ascension for the world. – Edna Lister, February 11, 1968.

God can use anyone who is devoted. – Edna Lister, Conversion and Mysticism, June 9, 1968.

Devote your time to releasing of Light and waiting upon the Lord in devotion. – Edna Lister, June 24, 1968.

True prayer is an attitude of devotion and an expression of praise to God. It is a form of worship. – Edna Lister, May 8, 1969.

"In everything, give thanks" describes an act of devotion. Without devotion or thanks, you are as empty as a shell without a nut. – Edna Lister, Secret Place of the Most High, November 16, 1969.

Laziness is a lack of devotion. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1969.

You can double your devotion and prayer intensity. – Edna Lister, May 5, 1970.

Love and devotion take you to the Source. – Edna Lister, August 9, 1970.

If you cannot increase your love and devotion, you are not taking advantage of the power the outer world is using. Every statement you make is dedicated to you. – Edna Lister, November 15, 1970.

Your devotion lifts you above the dense vibrations of earth into the realm of Light, which in turn lifts you even higher. – Edna Lister, Stand, Endure and Hold Through Magic Words, November 30, 1970.

How you fare depends on the quality of your worship and devotion. – Edna Lister, November 5, 1970.

God accepts what you give. If you are satisfied with your love and devotion to God, you are missing something. If missing something divinely dissatisfies you, you need to ascend higher in the Light in love and devotion to God. Have you put all that you can into your devotion? Has your love of God and your devotion lifted you higher because you have called on more Light this week than ever before? – Edna Lister, November 22, 1970.

Your devotion must be supreme, not partly or “maybe.”– Edna Lister, April 15, 1971.

Under sacrifice, you grow closer to God in devotion. – Edna Lister, Resurrection from All Darkness, May 9, 1971.

Top ↑

Devotion: The Bridge Builder

This Edna Lister lecture outline is dated May 22, 1935, Buffalo, New York.

We build bridges to bridge a chasm, a river, a swamp, but always to cross some space that is otherwise impassable. To bridge the Columbia River at Portland, they first used a ferry, then built three different kinds of bridges.

The first innovation was an old-fashioned drawbridge. Next was a jackknife design that opened one span upward to fold down. Finally, they built the multi-level Broadway bridge, towering skyward, with trains running under the auto lanes. Streetcars, buses, autos, and pedestrians could all use it.

The vision for a bridge includes the plans for its construction, sinking the piers for its foundation, the patterns for its form, and all parts of creating it. It's finished when people are using it, but is it ever finished, really? No, it's not.

A bridge is subject to excess weight from the paving it carries. River moisture corrodes, eats, and rots the metal, producing rust in the body and cables, etc. Maintaining a bridge is a constant process of scraping, applying red lead, and repainting it to keep it beautiful. A bridge is a project involving continuous work.

A river symbolizes the world's desires flowing. A swamp represents intolerance, criticism, etc. Quicksand is a metaphor for personal self-worship, and self-pity. A chasm symbolizes a cold lack of belief in love.

Devotion is ardent and enthusiastic fervor. Devotion, poured out as praise and gratitude, bridges the abyss to God. You are triumphant and victorious in its completion, but like any work in progress you must rebuild our bridge daily to reap the finest rewards.

Top ↑

Devotion: What Is It?

This Edna Lister lecture outline is dated May 24, 1935, Buffalo, New York.

Devotion is the act of devoting one's self to divinity in loyalty and prayer. Devotion is an act of worship, the surrender of one's self to Light, to life, and to be the servant of God's Power.

The way to Wisdom's Well is a path through the burning sands of the desert. Persevere until you can dip into the spiritual waters there, the storehouse of Mind, Substance, and Power, the glory of Wisdom, Love, and Selflessness.

Top ↑

Desire Plus Devotion

This Edna Lister lecture outline is dated September 30, 1936, Buffalo, New York.

What is desire? The world defines it as "to long for, longing, wishing and craving." In short, it is an unsatisfied appetite.

What is devotion? The worldly definition is "an enthusiastic addiction to, loyalty to; devoutness." You are always devoting yourself to one goal or another.

"Our creed is love. Our path is service. Our goal is God." To pray, you make a request of God; you pray and entreat Him to answer, but you may command only yourself.

To gain any goal, to attain it, you must devote yourself to it. To devote yourself to God means that you must consecrate and dedicate your life to Him. Finally, you must give up the world to devote yourself to God exclusively.

First, your desire must be so great, so all-encompassing that you desire to surrender self completely until you are possessed by the Power of God. Your dedication will then lead you to give your whole life in selfless sacrificial service.

Then shall you walk earth as heavenly royalty, bowing low before the Master and our Father.

Top ↑

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated December 16, 1956, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Acts 17:22-31.

"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead." – Acts 17:22-31.

"Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus, and said, Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious. For as I was passing through, and considering the objects of your worship, I found an altar with this inscription: To The Unknown God. Therefore the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you. God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands." – Acts 17:22-24.

Half the world pays its devotion to some unknown god, worshiping in blind faith. Some worship gods of silver and gods of gold. Others take the Scriptures too literally and become rigid, dictatorial or downright cruel. Still others believe in an opposite way, that religious stories are all mythical and all teachings are allegories.

What is the truth? What is devotion? Is it divine worship, Spirit rejoicing, prayer, high thoughts?

God has winked at times of such ignorance. He does not punish man for ignorance, but for doing downright evil acts. Yet, now what? Jesus had been crucified, declared dead, was resurrected and ascended.

"There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." – Job 32:8. The urge within man always sends him upward. We have traversed the long journey from tearing meat from bones with our hands and teeth to dining from beautifully appointed place settings of porcelain and silver.

From clubs, bows and arrows, spears, cannons to atomic bombs in our destructive capacities. We have progressed from heavy cast iron ranges to enamel on steel, and we cook with stainless steel, aluminum and plastic. Home heating has moved from firewood to coal to gas and electric power.

This has been an ascension of substance through the process of refining. So it has been with the individual who has progressed from creature to son of man to son of God and to creator — consciousness has been refined.

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us." – Acts 17:24-27.

Your devotion can only follow your interest. Where is your interest?

If you grant a Known God, if you accept His closeness, if you decide to "live, move and have our being in Him," then it's time to become interested enough to feel alive, strong and beautiful. For beauty is a feeling of glory within, composed of faith, devotion and joyous effort.

So many things in life are your choice: You can choose your place, your goal, your own kind of God, the one you want to be like. Is this blasphemy? No. Why shouldn't you choose everything you can think of to follow, to become?

No one can have a fulfillment in his life that he cannot feel or that he has not chosen. If you choose a deathless faith, a comprehending devotion to do everything in joy, you will have no room in your life for discouragement, disappointment or disease.

When the walls begin to fall in on you, it is your sign that you have expanded to fulfill your vision. You need to choose a new goal, farther out in front.

When you fall flat on your face, it is your sign that you are allowing the wheel of life to swing you around, like a carnival ride. You do not need to remain on the wheel of fate. When you reach the top, you can step off and up onto the hub of the wheel of destiny. You never fall off when you remain at the hub, the center-point of poise.

When you are bored with the choice you have made, you want to rest. You want a place of quiet to write, to study, to meditate.

Yet, you always take your self along to fill the same old twenty-four hours, doing the same old things, getting dressed and undressed and dressed again. When you do not reach your goals, you have taken too much time out to rest, been too slow, taken too long.

Now is the time, here is the place, and you are the right person filling both. Only your own shall come to you. Yet, most importantly, how shall you know your own when it comes? Many simply quit at this point because the task ahead looks too hard to do. Others fear that it will take too long and they give way to impatience instead.

When you choose the Known God of the Bible, when your devotion expands into full honor and loyalty to Him, then you cannot have any graven images or false gods of silver, gold or stone. You cannot be tricked or fooled.

How fascinating it is to realize that all stubbornness is nothing more than honor and loyalty in reverse. Get in gear and travel forward not in reverse.

To walk in devotion to God becomes pure joy. Pure joy is devotion. To be interested in God and devoted to Him in joy is the only liberty of the soul. You will become enthralled with life, enraptured with love, because "in Him we live, and move, and have our being." God is your very own Star of Bethlehem.

Top ↑

Your Devotion to God (b)

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated December 16, 1956, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribe: Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Acts 17:22-31.

"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead." – Acts 17:22-31.

We have worked our way up from stone images to unseen spiritual substance, from the heaviest materials, bricks, iron and steel to transparent ovens through which we can watch our dinner roast. We have graduated from eating with our fingers to using silverware, from clubs and spears to cannons and atomic bombs.

We have progressed from creatures to the creator stage. Once we were savages who worshiped nature, rocks and trees, and now we are sons and daughters who worship God as personality and principle. We have come so far through mutation, combinations of substance, and have worked our way up to the Unknown God through metaphysics, psychology, science, philosophy and mysticism.

The background of Acts 17 is fascinating to those who prize soul ascension. Paul and Silas had been teaching and preaching in Thessalonika, where the local devout Jews complained about them to the Roman authorities and had their host, Jason, arrested.

They escaped to Berea, where Paul taught until the Thessalonikan Jews arrived to complain about him again. Paul fled to Athens, where Silas and Timothy soon joined him.

Athens was a commercial and intellectual metropolis of the ancient world, filled with pagan temples and philosophical sects. The devotional types maintained dozens of temples, while the intellectuals listened to Stoic and Epicurean philosophers.

Half the Athenians were devoted to superstition, eagerly accepting every new god who arrived, while the remainder intellectually argued. The vibration was completely muddled.

Paul preached about Jesus and the Resurrection, so the philosophers brought him to the Areopagus, Athens' supreme judicial council, who asked him to explain his teachings. Paul said that he had seen an altar inscribed To the Unknown God.

The Athenians worshiped gods of stone, gold and silver. If the gods they already worshiped were not good enough, they were not taking any chances. Paul knew what they were doing, so he praised their devotion and told them that they had been ignorantly worshiping the God about whom he preached.

He said, "God … has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings." Though the United Nations proclaimed Israel's statehood, its boundaries were a foreordained fact. All nations will eventually have their place.

Paul presents God here as our Father, the personality that exists within the Source. I love that God can create in His own image and likeness. I worship Him as all beauty of form and formlessness, "For in Him we live and move and have our being."

How can you worship a God in whom you have no interest? You cannot devote yourself to a blah "nothing" concept of God that does not merit worship.

Honor and loyalty are your first requisites in devotion to God. The world's stubborn agnosticism is an inverted form of honor and loyalty. If you managed to convince a resolute agnostic about God, later he will be just as determined in his loyalty to God.

Most people have an altar to the Unknown God. Some have been cruel to others based on loyalty to Bible verses taken out of context, but they do not really know God. Many fear that the Hell that ministers and priests preach does exist.

If you grant the existence of an unknown God, why not make it pay you dividends of life, love, joy and beauty? Why not exert your faith, devotion and effort toward the known God?

You must choose a goal, and the God you want to worship. He must be all wisdom, beauty and glory, and nothing is impossible to Him. Beauty is formless, yet you recognize what is beautiful in form. Your response to beauty is an expression of your soul's joy, and your effort to increase joy expands beauty.

God does not force anyone to worship Him, but takes the time to awaken every human being. The capacity of your brain cells must unfold to invite illumination, so God does not rush. The world steps up in stages, according to degree and kind, from idolizing a stone to worshiping the known God.

Every idea in every book originated in divine Mind, the source of all ideas. You get nothing for nothing under God's invariable laws, but you can step up in consciousness according to your degree of growth.

A man may think of God as a wrathful or vengeful old man, and be satisfied with that idea for a time. Yet, finally, he becomes enthralled with the true known God. The glorious place God has prepared for you will become yours when you tire of the lesser place you have created with your petty curses. Why not choose your true place?

You earn your place by fulfilling your vision of devotion to the unknown God. Anyone can pay the price, which is surrender of self for the pearl of great price. Lazy souls do not want to visualize the goal, but to escape making the effort, because becoming something is just too much trouble to them.

Failure is quitting before you arrive. Failure results from mental, emotional and physical laziness. Subconscious mind is the ally of laziness, but it cannot set aside what the conscious mind chooses.

Each time you envision a new place, you draw an invisible magnetic circle that squeezes when you have reached its limits. Then you know you need more room, a new place. Many people fall on their faces because they hug the old pain without attempting to gain the new place.

Your only freedom is to expand your soul into a higher state of consciousness. Step up to Christed consciousness, which protects you from outer detriments so fate cannot throw you off-course.

Stand in your room of Light within the Lord's house forever. Live securely in the kingdom of heaven, above fear and emotions. Stand on the hub of the Wheel of Destiny, where joy becomes devotion and liberty. Liberation from the little self is the greatest gift you can receive.

The world now lives in the "days of judgment." Stand in undaunted, courageous faith without disappointment, and be on time for your appointment with God. If you are disappointed, you are near your appointed place, but bumping along on self's rocky road. Discouraged means that you are fresh out of courage.

Ascend in consciousness, joyfully knowing the known God. Keep your interest so high that you will live in that new place of radiance, beauty and liberty. Recognize and accept your place, even if it looks hard. You can liberate it by standing in Light.

Declare, "I know this is my true place. I am in the right place at the right time." Follow the Master, who said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is the Power of love." Top ↑

New Testament on Devotion

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. – Matthew 5:8.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16.

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, nor about your body, what you will wear. – Matthew 6:25.

He who is not with Christ is against Christ, and he who does not gather with Christ scatters abroad. – Matthew 12:30.

In the life to come, when the Christ sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed him will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. – Matthew 19:28.

Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for Christ's name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. – Matthew 19:29.

Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant, just as the Christ did not come to be served, but to serve. – Matthew 20:27-28.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. – Matthew 22:37-38.

When you are faithful over a few things, God can make you master over many things. – Matthew 25:21.

All things are possible to him who believes. – Mark 9:23.

The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. – Mark 12:29-31.

There is One God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. – Mark 12:32-33.

You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. – Luke 4:8.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Do this and you will live. – Luke 10:27-28.

If you abide in the Christ's Word, you are his disciples indeed. – John 8:31.

The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. – John 10:11.

If you love the Christ, keep his commandments. – John 14:15.

He who keeps the Christ's commandments, it is he who loves him. – John 14:21.

He who loves the Christ will be loved by his Father, and Christ will love him and manifest himself to him. – John 14:21.

If anyone loves the Christ, he will keep his word; and the Father will love him, and They will come to him and make their home with him. – John 14:23.

Let all that you do be done with love. – 1 Corinthians 16:14.

By manifesting the truth, we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience. – 2 Corinthians 4:2.

Imitate God and walk in love. – Ephesians 5:1-2.

Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

He who says he abides in Christ ought himself also to walk just as he walked. – 1 John 2:6.

Whoever keeps Christ's word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. – 1 John 2:5.

Top ↑

Old Testament on Devotion

Every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord. – Leviticus 27:28.

Top ↑

Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister

Etymology of devotion: Latin devotionem, noun of action from devovere, to dedicate by a vow, from de- down, away + vovere to vow, from votum vow. In ancient Latin, it meant the act of consecrating by a vow, also loyalty, fealty, allegiance; in later Latin, it meant devotion to God, piety.

Devotion is a Via Christa Degree.


The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster, Noah. "Devotion," Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

Related Topic

See Consecration

Search Our Site